Get Ready for a close up!
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents regional premiere Drama/comedy
20th Century Blues, February 1-14, 2021
(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) kicks off the new year with the virtual dramatic reading of the regional premiere drama/comedy 20th Century Blues by Susan Miller, streaming online for two weeks only February 1-14, 2021. Originally scheduled to close the 2019-2020 Season, this production was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though this story touches on themes of friendship and art-making, it is “mostly a comedy about aging,” according to the New York Times. Penned by two-time Obie Award-winner Susan Miller, 20th Century Blues questions our place in the world and gives a close-up of a forty-year, age-defying friendship. Production Sponsor is Procter & Gamble. Design Sponsor is Carol Talbot. Directed by D. Lynn Meyers.
An impromptu behind-bars snapshot taken during a 1970s protest lockup sparks an eccentric, four-decade friendship. Every year, photographer Danny and her friends reunite to take a new photo showcasing their changing selves. However, when Danny is offered a career retrospective, the ritual that has been the glue holding them together for 40 years may now also tear them apart. The images unearth secrets, prompting the women to question who they are in this evocative play.
ETC will host a live discussion with acclaimed playwright Susan Miller on February 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm as part of the Meet the Artists Series for a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of 20th Century Blues. This free digital event will be available through ETC’s social media channels and can be accessed through ETC’s website at http://www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
“It’s a true joy to share 20th Century Blues by Susan Miller with you,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “This story of trust, challenges, ambition, compassion, and friendship is exactly what we need right now. It reminds us that each moment of our lives matter. Each one captured in the memories and photos of our mind.”
About the Cast
Burgess Byrd (Mac) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Skeleton Crew as Faye and the 2019 production of The Frog Princess as the Tsar. She also appeared in ETC’s world premiere of Around the World in 80 Days in the 1999-2000 Season, during which time she was an Acting Intern. Additional credits include Gloria: A Life at the Human Race Theatre Company.
Annie Fitzpatrick (Sil) last appeared at Ensemble Theatre in The Wolves. Other favorite ETC credits include Luna Gale, Hands on a Hardbody, Next Fall, Rabbit Hole, and String of Pearls. Her most recent production was
The Roommate at American Stage. Her other credits include A Prayer for Owen Meany, To Kill A Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol, and Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Richard III, Death of a Salesman, Little Women, A Man for All Seasons, and Blithe Spirit, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; and Silent Sky, Pluto, and Collapse, Know Theatre. She has worked with various regional theatres including The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Geva Theatre, Florida Stage, and Florida Studio. Her television and film credits include Chicago P.D., Those Who Kill, Army Wives, The Old Man and the Gun, Fun Size, and Milk Money.
Dale Hodges (Bess) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Sex and Education, as well as Ripcord, Outside Mullingar, Other Desert Cities, Grey Gardens, and Mrs. Mannerly. Select regional credits include Wit, King Lear, To Kill a Mockingbird, 23 years of A Christmas Carol with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Noises Off with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Ms. Hodges has worked on Broadway in Equus and Benefactors, off-Broadway in Top Girls and A Woman in Mind, and in regional theatres around the country, including 15 summers with Peterborough Players in New Hampshire.
Regina Pugh (Danny) most recently served as the director of A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Ensemble Theatre, where she was seen on stage in Annapurna, The Other Place, Next Fall, My Name is Asher Lev, After the Fall, Buckminster Fuller: In and Out Universe, The Water Engine, and Everything in the Garden and Fragments, both directed by Edward Albee. She appeared at Cincinnati Playhouse in A Christmas Carol (1992-2011) and the world premiere of Invention for Fathers and Sons and has performed locally at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and The Know Theatre of Cincinnati. Regina teaches at acting at Xavier University and is a founding member of Performance Gallery, an alternative theatre collective that specializes in original work and has participated yearly in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.
Kate Wilford (Gabby) has appeared in ETC’s productions of Alice in Wonderland (2018), Cinderella: After Ever After, Violet, Cinderella, Luna Gale, Becky’s New Car, Good People, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and many others. She has appeared at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Romeo And Juliet, The Cherry Orchard, All My Sons, and Bedroom Farce. Regionally, she has also worked at The Lyceum Theatre, Beef N Boards, Westgate Theatre, The Kenley Players, and was a founding member of The Troupe in Cincinnati as well as directed at Xavier University, Thomas More College, and Cincinnati Children’s Theatre.
Crystian Wiltshire (Simon) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. His recent credits include The Tempest, Fences, and The Winter’s Tale, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Kill Move Paradise, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; Ghost, StageOne Family Theatre; Dracula, Actors Theatre of Louisville; As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, Part II, and Twelfth Night, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival; and And In This Corner: Cassius Clay and Hamlet in Kentucky Shakespeare’s co-production with StageOne Family Theatre.
This virtual dramatic reading can be rented through ETC on Demand, the theatre’s new digital streaming platform that will be launching in late January. Tickets are $10 for one 48-hour rental or $60 for a subscription to all upcoming virtual content (excluding benefit readings) through June 2021. ETC On Demand will be able to be accessed through the theatre’s main website. Subscribers can contact the box office Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for more information.
2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.